Lately, I have become more of a people watcher. I find myself intrigued by how people interact with one another. I wonder what makes someone be kind to one person and shitty to the next? I wonder why a person smiles at one person yet refuses to make eye contact with the next? I have observed an employee say “good morning, how may I help you” to one customer then give the blank stare to the next customer. What makes us treat people the way we do? Why aren’t we kind all of the time?

Let me share a story with you. I was raised in a small town in comparison to Indianapolis, Indiana. It was the norm to say hello to strangers, get stopped by a random adult and asked how your grandmother was doing and the famous “Oh my goodness! I haven’t seen you since you were a baby and now you are all grown up! Tell your mom I said hello”. As I smiled and walked away, I would think, who in the hell are you?

When my mother fell sick and was sent home on hospicare, it was her doctor that made sure she got her medicines. He called her to say her new meds were at the pharmacy. She told him I was still out of town so she would have to wait a few days. He told her not to worry about it. He would deliver them to her house at the end of his shift. This was not a resident; he was her pulmonologist (lung doctor). Now, I know this is not the norm but nothing is ever normal when it comes to my mother. What I have learned from watching my mother is she is kind, she is giving; she is caring and will do anything for anyone. She is sweetest person I know. But, how did she become this way? I know her mother and she sure as hell did not get it from her. I did not know her father but from what I am told, she didn’t get that “gene” from him either. So, tell me, where did this kindness come from?

I ask because I am now in my forties and I realize I do not have this kindness that my mom possesses. No, I didn’t just realize I don’t have it, I have known for a very long time! I have been told since I was a little girl that I am mean. What the fuck ever. I’m not mean. I just call bullshit on bullshit. You say mean, I say honest. Anyways, God thought it was funny to bless me with a little angel that is a miniature version of me. And guess what, she is a four year old mean ass. I have noticed she watches me very closely; my expressions, my tones, my words, even my gestures. Yep, as you have guessed, she is mimicking me! The world does not need two of me.

So, after some self-talk and internal debate, I have decided it is time for me to be more kind. I need to set a good example for this four year-old, right? I have only one question? How does one become kind, giving, and sweet like my mom? How does one change from being “mean” to be “nice”. After, listening to TEDtalks and spiritual leaders from around the country, I have come to the conclusion that it is all about choice. We have the choice to decide what we want to do every second, every minute, every hour, and every day of our life. We have the choice to be mean, ungrateful, rude, or surly. We also have the choice to be kind, caring, grateful, and a blessing to others. I have made the choice to be the second of the two. I chose to be more like my mother: kind-hearted, empathetic, optimistic, positive, uplifting to others around me and just simply nice. One may ask, why now? Why do you want to change now? So, glad you asked. Here are my three reasons:

#1. My children are watching. As stated before, my mini-me is learning everything from me. I do not want her to be known as a mean child. I also want the older children to see the softer side of their mom. I am known to be that mom to call when “the shit gets real”. I am that momma beast bear when it comes to my kids. However, I need to show I am also soft, funny and care about unicorns and rainbows too. They need to know it’s never too late to change.

#2. There will be a time in my life when I will need help from someone. I mean real help. I want my niceness to have left an impression like my mom did with her doctor. It’s not every day a doctor will go beyond his normal duty to help a patient. My mom was not just a patient to him she was a real person. When people think of me, they can say she was honest, maybe too honest, but she would give you her last if you needed it.

#3. I really believe in karma. I truly believe if we make good choices and are good to people then in return, we can and will attract good people that will also make good choices. Just think what would happen if we all made the choice to be kind, be nice, be happy and spread that shit to everyone around us? The world would be a perfect place.

In conclusion, I am making the choice from this day forward to be kind, nice, and positive just like my mom. With this choice I am going to take all that kindness and sprinkle that shit like confetti!

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